Sunday, March 19, 2017


Openness means in My  Practice

Theoretically, the meaning of "openness" includes four dimensions including the possibility of access by “anyone” with “no cost” from “any place” at “anytime." For example, if recourse is open there is no limit on the number of users, it should be able to access from any place at any time for free.
Some resources can fulfill these four dimensions without any limitations. For example, a course created in Wikiversity. In addition to above for dimensions as users, in Wikiversity resources bring another dimension that open development and therefore anyone can openly contribute to building the content. The following diagram illustrate those dimentions.

But, In practice, we say something is "open" although there are limitations in one or more dimensions. For example, we say MOOC courses are open, but there are limitations of course registration time. 

In my practice, openness brings two main challenges. The first is producing quality materials and the second is managing the copyright issues. If I want to open my teaching materials, I should satisfy with the quality. Although quality is a challenge, it helps to improve the quality of my works. It motivates to produce quality materials. For example, I should have more confidence to share teaching materials openly rather than just presenting in a classroom or sharing in closed systems such as Learning Management Systems(LMS).

But, the second challenge, the copyright issue is more critical[i] . For example, I should verify all the content are complying with copyright laws. The decision making of prevention of copyright issues may be complex in some cases. For example, Copyright Society in Sweden filed a case and won against Wikimedia for publishing photos of Swedish public sculptures and other public artworks without getting permission from the artists[ii]. In general, I use contents from textbooks for my presentations. But, it is not clear about the legal aspect of sharing that kind of materials openly even I used the textbook as a reference. Also, the copyright laws may be different from country to country and may be frequent changes and therefore should have a sound knowledge of the context and latest updates.
Finally, I would say, I am happy to share my resources if I am satisfied with the quality and copyright conditions. 

How to find and use openly licensed resources

The easiest way is to search in the creative common site[iii]. It gives you an option to select sources such as Wikimedia Commons and other open resources. Also, the advanced google search is easy to use.  But, it is tricky to find exactly open resources and sometimes, the result may include non-open resources.

When you find a resource, check the original license and conditions. Then follow the terms of the license accordingly.
Here is a tool to create a reference to Creative Commons resources.

A short descriptive video

Advantages and disadvantages of open and closed technologies

Open technologies are very popular today and getting more popular. When compare with closed technologies open technologies includes the right of reuse, redevelopment, and redistribution without paying the owner.  The concept of open technologies is broad. It may include simple tools such as apps and also complex systems such as LMS. Therefore, it 's hard to discuss pros and cons of open technologies as a whole, but my opinion has illustrated in the following table.
Here, I stated only advantages and disadvantages of open technologies. Advantages of open technologies can consider as disadvantages of closed technologies vice-versa.   For example, free use is an advantage of open technologies and therefore it can consider as a disadvantage of closed technologies.

Open technologies
·      Free use
·      Ability to customize, redesign
·      Re-distributable
·      Affordability issues (one-time fee/timely payment required)
·      Flexibility issues- cannot change
·      lack of documentations and user manuals
·      Lack of dedicated support team
·      Lack of quality
·      More technical knowledge required for installation and maintenance

Implications of different open course and MOOC formats in relation to my learning experience on this course.

In my opinion, ONL171 course has designed as a cMOOC.  xMOOCs follow "constructivist" approach which instructor design the flow and cMOOCs follow "constructivist" approach[iv] which learning goals tend to be defined by the learner. Also, in cMOOC focuses on knowledge construction and creation and puts much emphasis on creation, autonomy, and social network learning[v]. In the main group and especially in the PBL group we define goals, make connections and collaborate with autonomy. Therefore,  I think ONL171 is a cMOOc course.

We conduct two PGL group meetings per topic. Those meetings motivate group members to be active participants. Also, the FISH model helps to plan out group works. We use collaborative tools for our learning. The connectivity part has properly designed to keep members active. For example, I had issues about participation due to a busy schedule during last two weeks, but I survived since group members are connected, and my team members helped a lot for my survival.

[iv] A. Littlejohn, “Understanding massive open online course,” CEMCA EdTech Notes, pp. 1–12, 2013.

[v]  P. Wang, “The latest development and application of massive open online course: From cMOOC to xMOOC,” Modern Distance Education Research, vol. 3, pp. 13-19, 2013

Friday, March 3, 2017

Digital Literacies

Week 1 - Digital Literacies

– who you are as an individual in the digital age and what characterizes your journey so far.
I would like to put my foot on the residents’ side in visitor–residents continuum. First, I used computers as a data processing machine and then used communication technologies as a visitor. Then, I used ICT for sharing knowledge and collaboration using different tools. Today, I use Wikiversity, Facebooks, Blogs, LMS as a visitor and residents. For instance, I read Facebook posts as a visitor and comment and post.
– you may think about your digital literacy and identity in your personal and professional life, how they are linked
My personal and professional life link with digital literacies. But, I am trying to live in two different digital worlds, but it is difficult. For, an example I will use Facebook for my personal life, but there are many students and colleagues. I added them as friends and don't want to have professional discussions through Facebook. I would reply only through Facebook for urgent matters and inform to contact through email or official LMS for further discussions.

– what ONL might mean for your development
Open network learning helps me a lot for my debelopment. As an information system developer, I have to learn practice and theory. First, I would say,  youtube videos are kind of open learning resources for me. Always I start to find technical know-how on youtube. If I want to ask questions, I use blog post or forum discussions. I prefer to start Wikipedia if I want to read textual descriptions.  But, I always try to verify the accuracy referring to citations will extend my search.
If I want to get a more advanced knowledge,  then I will try to go for open courses.

– your experiences from ONL so far
I found excellent solutions from open dissuasions forums. Some open forums are more useful than the official support tools (site or personal advice from agents). 

– other reflections on topic 1 readings and discussions

Digital Literacies

Literacy, Computer Literacy, and Digital Literacies
Before computers popular as a data processing machine  "literacy" used as a measure of education. The general definition of literacy was “ The ability to read and write.”[1] 
When we use books, pen, and pencils.  Peoples who can read and write considered as educated. Still, we use literacy rate to rank countries.

The computer used for personal use and information systems as a data processing machine and people use computers to read and right. Then the term "Computer literacy" introduced to measure the ability of use of a computer for reading and writing. There are many definitions, and a simple definition is   “(of a person) having sufficient knowledge and skill to be able to use computers; familiar with the operation of computers.”[2] This definition is an extension of the "literacy."

Today computers do not use just as a data processing machine but it has combined with communication technologies, and we called as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). ICT consider as a key a tool that can be used for knowledge acquisition, creation, and sharing and collaboration (networking).  Therefore, the term computer literacy has expanded as Digital literacy and can be defined as "Digital literacy is the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society”[3].
In my opinion, digital literacy is the ability to use ICT for knowledge acquisition, creation, sharing and collaboration with others.

Digital Footprints
The Visitor and Residents continuum can be linked with these four activities. Acquisition and creation are closer to visitors and sharing and collaboration closer to residents.  It is oblivious that acting as residents require more competencies, resources and give more benefits. 
But, when we use digital tools we are keeping our footprints intentionally or unintentionally.
There are two types of footprints. There are two types of footprints called passive and active. A passive digital footprint creates when accessing the data (even act as a visitor) and active footprint creates when sharing for others (when acting as residents).

Passive footprints
Passive footprints can be collected by the administrators when users access a site. For example, who visited a post, when and where and from what kind of computer etc.
Then, someone can trace student’s passive footprints to track what they are doing.

Active footprints
For example, a student can share a photo. They think they are sharing only the image but not. There may be metadata about the camera, location, and date, etc.

Footprints may have negative and positive consequences. For example, cookies are useful to remember user preferences. Also, LMS log data and page visits statistics can be used to understand students learning patterns. Benefits can predict and explain, but the problem is we cannot guess the impact of the downside. For example, you should allow accessing to your mobile when you install an app on your mobile phone. Then, the app can read your contacts, access network and sometimes control your camera too (required rights depend on the applications). We don't know how it can damage it if you not aware of it.  

I just like to post here an image I found on Facebook;

We should care about digital footprints in our personal use and should professionally handle as teachers. For example, we should concern about privacy policies when we select apps for classes.
But don't afraid, our physical life also has footprints, but we don't afraid since we have taken precautions. You can sleep in a luxury house if you have strong walls and doors and some other protections. You will decide the level of protection based on the value of your belongings and according to the home environment. There are many tools and considerations when you use digital tools. It is not worth to stop using digital tools but should know and use tools to protect your identity. 

Filter Bubbles
I like filters! I search eLearning in a browser and found About 188 000 000 results in one search engine and 156 000 000 in another. I don't know how to use the result. But, fortunately, the browser has an algorithm to prioritize the result and found useful links.  After reflecting on the first session of ONL171, I afraid about my perception of filters. Are filters hide some information?   Are they more valuable than prioritized result set? Those questions are difficult to answer
, but I think, I used some techniques unintentionally to avoid filter bubbles.

I would like to share my solution under some assumptions. Data triangulation is my suggestion. In research, we collect data from more than one source to verify the validity. When I search on Internet, I use more than one search engine. Also, select specific search tools to your search. For example, if you want to find a research article, the best place is your library search tool under the assumption that they search directly on research databases. 


Lessons learnt and future

Most important things that I have learnt through engagement in the ONL course and why? The ONL course practically showed the power of o...